VICE on HBO returns for its sixth season Friday, April 6, at 11 p.m. ET/PT with “Raised in the System,” an extended special season premiere featuring Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams as he embarks on a personal journey to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis: the juvenile justice system.
“Raised in the System” offers a frank and unflinching look at people caught up in the system, exploring why the country’s mass incarceration problem cannot be fixed without first addressing the juvenile justice problem, and investigates community efforts that are resulting in drastic drops in crime and incarceration.
With more than 850,000 juvenile arrests a year and 48,000 kids sitting in lock-up daily, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of minors in the world. However, recent FBI statistics reveal that the highest arrest rates for violent crimes, including murder, robbery and car theft, come in late teenage years and then fall significantly.
Having grown up in Brooklyn’s Vanderveer projects, Williams has seen firsthand how family and close friends have been swept up in the criminal justice system at an early age. In “Raised in the System,” Williams meets with his nephew Dominic, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder at age 19, and his cousin Niven, who entered the prison system age 14, was released with restrictions preventing him from returning to his family, and ultimately fell back into crime.